n. A display whereby inebriates attempt to sing songs that were once or are now popular (the trend favouring the latter), aided by a badly recorded MIDI soundtrack and words flashing on a monitor. (often derogatory)
I know this bar on Bloor Street that has karaoke on Thursdays.
Singing without a live orchestra or band. Originally meaning "without orchestra," it is a combination of Japanese "kara" meaning "empty/bare-handed" as in "karate", and the "okee" sound from the first syllable of "orchestra" as pronounced by Japanese.
The guy who thought up karaoke created a bar owner's dream, because as patrons provide their own entertainment by singing along with a machine, management saves a fortune by not hiring talented musicians.